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Portland Cement Association Showcases Industry Progress

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) is releasing its first edition of the U.S. cement industry Report on Sustainable Manufacturing.

This summary report details an impressive record of environmental, health, and safety performance within the industry that PCA first benchmarked in 2004 through its Cement Manufacturing Sustainability Program. The cement industry is committed to building for today without depleting future resources. After launching its sustainable development program last year, PCA pledged to track the progress of cement manufacturing processes and report on how cement-based products are helping protect the environment, conserving raw materials, minimizing energy consumption, and ultimately providing concrete solutions for sustainable design.

“The PCA Report on Sustainable Manufacturing is a reflection of the advancements our industry is making toward sustainable development. The cement industry was one of the first to address climate change, and we’re proud to continually make great strides in manufacturing improvement and environmental performance,” Andy O’Hare, PCA vice president of regulatory affairs, said. “We will continue to challenge ourselves to improve energy efficiency, minimize emissions, and produce a sustainable product. This regular Report on Sustainable Manufacturing will capture those actions and keep the industry accountable.”

The Report is organized under six different banners:

Cement, Concrete, and Voluntary Goals
PCA’s Environmental Performance Measures translate the industry’s principles and voluntary goals into action. For example, the cement industry has adopted a voluntary target of a 60 percent reduction (from a 1990 baseline) in the amount of cement kiln dust (CKD) disposed per ton of clinker produced by 2020.

Sustainable Practices
A significant number of cement manufacturing plants are increasingly using alternatives to raw materials for production. Plants are using industrial byproducts such as blast-furnace slag from steel plants and fly ash from the electric power industry to replace natural stone and gypsum. The industry also is recycling its own byproducts. CKD is recycled to offset the use of limestone and other raw virgin materials in manufacturing.

Environmental Performance
The portland cement industry was among the first to tackle the issue of climate change and has remained at the forefront. Since 1975, the cement industry has reduced emissions by 33 percent. The Report outlines an industry goal to voluntarily reduce CO2 emissions by 10 percent below the 1990 baseline by the year 2020.

Community Involvement
The Fredonia, Kan., cement manufacturing facility established a community panel, including community members, officials, and employees to discuss the status of the plant, environmental issues, and any community concerns. In 2003, the plant hosted an environmental exploration day for local students and created an employee Green Team that conducted plant-wide wildlife inventories and reconstructed waterfowl habitats. The Report discusses this and other industry-community partnerships.

Workplace Health and Safety
PCA has a long-standing tradition of honoring exceptional health and safety performance at cement facilities. Two distinct safety award programs recognize facilities with strong safety records and determine the safety record and measurement for the industry as a whole.

Sustainable Concrete Construction
As part of its sustainable development program, PCA is challenging the design and construction industries to create buildings that acknowledge the life cycle of a building. Recognizing that operating a building over time is far more energy intensive than developing it, demand for durability and energy performance is growing. Architects, engineers, and builders are choosing concrete for its durability, recycled ingredients, and energy efficiency - features not found in other building materials like steel or wood.

The complete Report is available upon request or at

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